When we were looking for somewhere to stay for two weeks in Florida, we came across Pine View Villa and it looked perfect. Having just returned from our holiday I'm pleased to say it totally met our expectations and exceeded them in several areas.
Firstly, the location is great. It's on the Highlands Reserve golf community which is right on US27. Head North on US27 and you reach US192 within about 5 minutes, that's the road that leads to the Disney parks and resorts. We found traffic on the US192 to be very variable, so travel time to the Disney area was somewhere between 15 and 30 minutes, that's from the driveway to the car park. There are tonnes of bars, restaurants and shops on the 192 as well, pretty much any US branded restaurant you can think of all within 10 to 15 minutes drive of the villa. Although the community is on the US27, there's no traffic noise at all as it's very well set back from the main highway.
Booking independently there's always the risk that when you arrive the house will bear no resemblance to the description and pictures on the owner's website. This is definitely not the case here, everything was exactly as expected and advertised. Debra and Chas have obviously put a lot of effort into making the villa feel like somewhere you would want to spend your holidays, the decor totally puts you in the holiday mood without feeling tacky or over the top. All the furnishings are of high quality and the bedrooms are all a decent size. The downstairs bedroom has a large en-suite bathroom with a big walk-in shower.
The Florida weather was extremely hot during our stay and at times we did find the house a little on the warm side with the air conditioning as set up. The good news is you can temporarily set a lower temperature, and we found that when we did this the villa cooled down very quickly indeed. There are ceiling fans in all the rooms which also made a big difference, the upstairs living area in particular was beautifully cool with the ceiling fan on.
The pool area was a definite highlight for us. The view over the golf course is beautiful, we found that the course wasn't too busy so even though you overlook one of the holes privacy isn't compromised. After some deliberation we opted for pool heat, it was fantastic to sit in the warm jacuzzi at night with a glass of wine and let the jets soothe our feet after a hectic day in the parks! There's a nice lanai area outside too which is covered, it rained a lot during our stay so it was good to be able to sit outside and stay dry even when it poured down.
The Management company's representatives live on site at Highlands Reserve, we had a couple of minor issues during our stay which were dealt with promptly and we were able to get hold of Sue, who looks after the property, very easily.
This was our first time renting a villa and we were extremely impressed. From the outset Debra was very helpful and made the booking process easy. I would not hesitate to recommend this villa, it's a great place to spend a holiday and we will definitely be returning!
A few practical points and tips:
- We got a cab to the Food & Wine festival at Epcot, and again to the California Grill at The Contemporary. We used Mears, they arrived on time and charged the same amount they suggested they would on the phone when I booked. Both times the fare was around $40-$45 one way.
- A few times during our stay when heading to Disney, we tried to avoid the traffic on the US192 by turning right out of Highlands Reserve, heading South on the US27 and then driving through Championsgate to join the US4. This adds a few miles to the route but it felt a bit quicker when the US192 was busy.